One who is large, corpulent, fat
Being picked on incessantly
Everything needed in large quantities, including love
Satiation points totally unknown
Enough of the awful name calling already!
One of the strangest hostilities still expressed in our society today is the animosity and disgust we exhibit toward those who are overweight. What is so strange is that the majority of Americans fall into that category. True, being overweight has implications for our health, looks and longevity, but there are so many reasons overeating occurs.
In his new play, now appearing at Geffen Playhouse's Audrey Skirball Kennis Theater in its West Coast premiere until June 10, Neil LaBute attempts to portray the plight of a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent woman whose avoirdupois gets in the way of her success with men.
From the opening scene when "Fat Pig" Helen, convincingly played by Kirsten Vangsness, meets the bright, handsome Tom, astutely played by Scott Wolf, we sense there will not be smooth sailing ahead….why else write a play in the first place?
Tom's assailants are working with him at his office: Carter, his right hand buddy played by Chris Pine with all the right gestures and body language; and, Jeannie, a woman Tom works with and has dated several times, given life and breath by the voluptuous Andrea Anders. They consistently question his relationship with Helen. Parenthetically, what appealed to me most was the superb attractiveness of Helen as the play progresses for she possesses such warmth and humanity which contrasts perfectly with the acerbic hardness of Jeannie in her moments of being spurned.
In their moments in bed, Tom and Helen deal with the many questions each must answer to really solidify the relationship. And when they attend Tom's office party at the beach, many of those questions are faced and answered.
The strengths of this play are many: a great script, written with sensitivity, style and believability; Mr. LaBute knows about the material he presents. The acting is first rate.
Each of the four brings action, pathos and convincing voice to their words. Helen's tears are most real and very touching. The set design by Louisa Thompson is sleek, modern and converts easily from cafeteria to office to beach; lighting by Lap-Chi Chu creates a spotlight on all that's happening. Jo Bonney, the director, keeps the ninety minute play moving along gracefully, thoughtfully and beautifully. Her actors respond with depth to the many moods and behaviors she plumbs from them.
"Fat Pig" combines wit, humor and the truthfulness that Helen sought so eagerly from Tom in all he said and did. Can any audience ask for more from any play?
Fat Pig by Neil LaBute Audrey Skirball Kennis Theater @ the Geffen Playhouse
10886 LeConte Avenue Westwood 90024 Tel. 310-208-5454 Tickets $55
Tuesday – Thursday @ 8:00 p.m.; Friday @ 8:30 p.m.; Saturday @ 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday @ 3:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Adult Rush @ $35; Student Rush @ $15, ten minutes prior to show time Through June 17